LGBTQ+ Communities and Human Trafficking

June is Pride Month in the United States, a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people, but also a time to reinvigorate our efforts to continue the fight for equality.

At Polaris, that means drawing even more attention to how people who identify as LGBTQ+ can be especially vulnerable to human trafficking. From talking about the violence faced by LGBTQ+ people to delving into why so many cases of trafficking in this community go unreported, we want to draw attention to experiences that are specific to LGBTQ+ communities and highlight ways we can come together to make things better.

Watch Polaris’s new Chief Development Officer, Patrick, share how his own experience as a gay man shapes his commitment to the human trafficking victims and survivors we serve.

The Equality Act

LGBTQ+ people are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers in part because bias and discrimination in things like jobs and housing gives traffickers an opening to step in and pretend to be the answer to a problem. The Equality Act would make such discrimination illegal under federal law. The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act in March 2021 with a bipartisan vote. Now, it’s up to the Senate to make it law – contact your U.S. Senators today.

Social Media Toolkit

During Pride month it is important to stand proud in the face of discrimination and recommit to healing and supporting our communities. Because of the pandemic, there are more people who are vulnerable than ever to the lure of traffickers promising love, safety, shelter, and economic stability. Let’s get the word out that there are options available through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Additional Information

We have also created resources that are aimed at helping LGBTQ+ trafficking victims and survivors. These include resources for LGBTQ+ youth who may be experiencing trafficking or know someone who is, for service providers and criminal justice professionals so they can learn more about how to promote healing, and for LGBTQ+ community members and advocates so they can become even stronger allies in the fight against human trafficking.

We encourage you to read these posts and resources and share them with your networks. The more people learn about human trafficking of LGBTQ+ people, the better equipped we’ll all be to fight it.



Getting Help

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733  to speak with a specially trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate.

If looking for an anti-trafficking program that specializes in serving LGBTQ+ populations, you can use our online public Referral Directory and add a “Specialized Competency” to your search. Users can also quickly identify organizations that specialize in serving LGBTQ+ populations by locating the Pride flag marker.

Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.